Apartment and building breakers tripping


Old 02-05-10, 08:46 AM
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Apartment and building breakers tripping

We have a situation where something is happening in an apartment that is causing not only the apartment breaker to trip but also a main breaker for the building (on the line the apartment is on). Isn't the apartment breaker supposed to catch this? Why would the building breaker also be tripping?

The apartment owner has recently installed a light and a few electrical receptacles.

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Old 02-05-10, 08:56 AM
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The apartment breaker could be faulty or there could be a fault upstream of the apartment panel that is correctly being cleared by the main breaker. Is either breaker warm or hot after the tripping? Any crackling or popping noises or smells? Any other construction type work where a nail could have been driven through a cable?

The newly added circuits aren't necessarily the cause, but it's certainly the first place I would look. Did the occupant install new circuits or extend an existing one?

In many states it is illegal for tenants to do electrical work on rented property, even with landlord permission. Sometimes the landlord may do the work (usually only in a duplex or single family), but often a licensed electrician is required.
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